May 2, 2018

The use of variable frequency drives for pumpset motors offers significant advantages for ship steering applications.   With a VFD motor pumpset, the steering can be ramped up to speed over the first and last 5 degrees of rotation to allow precise rudder positioning with no hydraulic shock.

VFD motor drives have the following advantages over constant running directional or servo valve pumpsets:

1.            Major reduction in electrical demand since the motor and pump only turn when a rudder angle change is underway.

2.            Major reduction in heat generation and consequent heat dissipation requirements due to the l...

November 4, 2016

Autonav exhibited at the SNAME Maritime Convention from November 1 to 5, 2016 in Bellevue, Washington.  It was good to meet customers, marine architects, and industry partners at our booth to share Autonav's technical expertise and develop mutual business.

August 30, 2016

Autonav is pleased to be the supplier of the steering with exceptional maneuverability for the new bunker vessel for Maxum Petroleum as publicly announced on the weblink below.

Quote: "The Global Provider is a 150,000-gallon self-propelled bunker ship with a cargo handling system that allows it to move segregated products, lube and fuel oil without cross-contamination. It features six pairs of cargo tanks, amounting to 3,700 Bbls of MGO and 24,000usg lube oil capacity. The vessel measures 126’-2” in length, with a 32' beam, 10' draft, and 13' depth to main deck, yet remains under 100 GT. It will be powered by a pair of Cummins QSK-19M, 660 HP Tier III engines, and Twin Disk...

August 17, 2016

Autonav is pleased to be selected as part of the Canadian Maritime Engineering Ltd. winning bid to provide a new steering system on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Pierre Radisson as awarded on August 2, 2016.

The CCGS Pierre Radisson is a type 1200 vessel that is one in a fleet of three nearly identical icebreakers built between 1978 and 1982. This project is being carried out within the framework of a Vessel Life Extension program (VLE) that should be extended to the other two similar vessels, CCGS DesGroseilliers and CCGS Amundsen. 

The government contract includes options for CME to retrofit these additional two Coast Guard vessels with Autonav steering systems. En...

March 15, 2016

A roll fin system has heavy and continuous operation when in service which can cause wear on bearings and actuators. In addition, the control system may have problems in maintenance due to unavailable or costly spare parts. Also the older control systems are not as effective as newer and more sophisticated controls and may require replacement.


With Autonav’s many years in design, manufacture and service of steering systems, we are in a good position to upgrade or repair the similar actuators used in roll fin stabilization. We can survey the installation with the customer, monitor the operation and determine which parts should be repaired or replaced. Autonav works closely w...

March 14, 2016

A well designed steering system can last longer than the vessel it is on but over its life it will require maintenance and/or upgrades. This is especially true of control systems where modern technology and electronics offer improvements in reliability and performance. Often parts for

Older systems are either no longer available, long delivery or too expensive. Autonav has over 70 years design, manufacturing and service experience with a wide range of steering systems and consequently can provide solutions at very cost effective prices. Many competitors lack the staff or interest in the necessary custom engineering to provide such upgrades and will only offer the sale of a c...

December 3, 2015


After 30-50 years of service, even well-built steering systems usually require refit or upgrade. This is particularly true of control systems due to rapid improvement in control and monitoring. With over 70 years of experience in design and manufacture as well as extensive knowledge of different makes of steering, Autonav is in an ideal position to provide cost effective and reliable upgrades without the need to replace the complete system. With this knowledge and experience, Autonav can evaluate which part can be retained, which part needs to be repaired, and which parts needs replacement.


A typical example is recent refit of 231 feet length (70.4 meter) National Oceanic...

October 22, 2015


Please see attached article by authors Paul Wagner and Jeannine A. Vail as published in the Naval Engineers journal. CLICK HERE


Ships' steering systems have progressed over the ages, driven by the need for more powerful and reliable systems. From simple mechanical devices thousands of years old to the latest electro-hydraulic systems, progress has been relatively slow but constant. Present systems tend to be the result of a series of modifications of older designs in response to a need for increased performance and reliability. This paper describes the historical development leading to present designs and discusses a new approach which not only eliminates most pro...

October 16, 2015

Port Moody, BC, Canada:  The first generation of the Autonav Rotary Vane steering systems were put into service over 20 years ago in the RCN Halifax Class Frigates and since then have undergone over 60,000 hours of service with minimal maintenance. On recently inspecting one of these early systems the seals and bearings were confirmed to have zero measurable wear due to the unique bearing and seal design. While rotary vane steering actuators are much more compact and lower weight than traditional Ram systems, their internal sealing has frequently been a problem which caused rudder drift under load. In addition the internal bearings would score and wear, requiring expensive...

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